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Chad’s Morning Brief: Gun Control Vote Today, Senator Ted Cruz Introduces Alternative Gun Bills, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of April 17, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.

Scott Olson, Getty Images

1. Gun Control Vote (link)

The Senate is set to vote on Wednesday on what some are saying could be the biggest change in gun laws in years. According to Politico, Senators will take up the bipartisan gun proposal from Senators Manchin and Toomey. Though Democrats lack 60 votes still.

Senators will take up the bipartisan proposal from Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to expand background checks on firearm purchases and close the so-called gun show loophole at 4 p.m.It will require 60 votes to pass, and the White House and Democrats still lack the final votes they need.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his GOP counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, finalized the agreement on Tuesday night setting up votes on eight additional amendments.

The additional amendments will also require 60 votes to pass.

They include Democratic proposals including a ban on assault weapons, a prohibition on high-capacity ammunition magazines, and a measure to expand mental-health screening.

GOP leaders, vehemently opposed to the Manchin-Toomey plan have submitted their own proposals, including an alternative gun bill by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and an amendment from provision by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to grant “reciprocity” among in other states for gun owners with “concealed carry permit.”

But for Democrats, Manchin-Toomey is the big one. Vice President Joe Biden has spoken with several senators, and Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was seriously wounded in a January. 2011 shooting that killed six people, that left six other people dead, was on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to press for the Manchin-Toomey plan.

It appears as though this will be a very close vote and no matter what happens, it will die in the House. Democrats will complain and the White House will attack Republicans, but when you hear their arguments for this legislation, you don’t hear facts. You only hear emotional appeal. The President is a big fan of bringing up the Newtown families and what they went through. Can anyone tell me how this legislation would have stopped the killings at Sandy Hook? Exactly, they wouldn’t have.

2. Cruz Alternative(link)

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz introduced two gun bills on Monday as alternatives to the gun control bill that the Senate will debate today. According to the Hill, one of the bills is co-sponsored by a group of 10 Republicans.

The measures provide an alternative to the gun control bill the Senate will begin debate on this week, which would expand background checks on gun purchases, crack down on gun trafficking and beef up security in schools. GOP senators have vowed to block that bill, claiming it goes too far and infringes on the rights of gun owners.

Cruz introduced a bill to “protect law abiding citizens by preventing criminals from obtaining firearms.” Among the 10 GOP co-sponsors are Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.), and Mike Lee (Utah), all signers of the filibuster pledge. Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) is also a co-sponsor.

Cruz also introduced an alternative bill aimed at preventing the trafficking and straw purchasing of firearms that does not presently have any co-sponsors.

The text of the bills is not yet available.

A source close to negotiations told The Hill that Republicans are working on further legislation that would focus on enforcing, rather than expanding, the current background-check system and a bill that aims to improve mental health record-keeping.

Why is it that I have a feeling that both of these bills will be shoved aside by the Democrats?

3. Restructuring High School (link)

Legislation that reduces standardized tests in the state and restructures high school graduation requirements was voted out by the Senate yesterday according to the Texas Tribune.

After a day of testimony in the Senate Education Committee, comprehensive legislation reducing state standardized tests and restructuring high school graduation requirements has now cleared its first hurdle in the upper chamber.

Senators voted out House Bill 5, which recently passed the full House, after substituting much of its language with that of senate bills the committee had already approved. In addition to dropping the number of state exams students must take to graduate from 15 to five, in biology, U.S. history, algebra I, and English I and II, the legislation changes current diploma standards that require four years each in math, science, English, and social studies.

Sens. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio and Royce West, D-Dallas, did not vote for the measure.

Van De Putte, citing concerns about the possibility of fewer low-income and minority students completing college preparatory curriculum under the new proposal, offered an amendment that would require four years of math, science, and English and three years of social studies to graduate. Similar to the graduation standards currently in place, she said it would include more course options for students to complete those requirements.

Thoughts?

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These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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